Holy Month falls wholly during the school term in many countries for first time in several years. Those working and studying need to ensure they eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get sufficient rest during Ramadan.
International SOS is providing important tips for staying fit and gaining health benefits during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
For the first time in several years, Ramadan falls fully during the school term in many countries, indicating that people will continue their work and studies throughout the Holy Month.
Dr. Issam Badaoui, Medical Director at International SOS, said:
“As a medical doctor, I am frequently asked for advice on staying healthy during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Regardless of the time of year, people should have a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and get sufficient rest. These tips are particularly important as people work and study during the Holy Month. It is important for those fasting to drink sufficient water between Iftar and Imsak.”
The medical advice for most adults is to drink at least three litres of water during each 24-hour period. People should be careful to avoid low blood sugar and dehydration, particularly for those fasting in warmer climates.
Dr Badaoui continued:
“Ramadan is also a time of moderation. It is a time when people can really focus on the food they eat and their lifestyle choices. It is also a good time to quit habits that could harm your health, like smoking, and adopt beneficial lifestyle changes such as preparing healthier homemade meals.”
Dr. Badaoui expects fewer non-fasters living in Muslim-majority countries to take holidays during Ramadan than in recent years, as children will be in school. This means that being respectful to those fasting will be even more important.
“Non-fasters should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours, and they will want to be respectful and understanding of colleagues and friends who are observing the fast,” said Dr. Badaoui. “We ask people to help ensure that work that requires heavy concentration take place in the early morning when energy levels are highest.”
Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the Holy Month of Ramadan. The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21, is again during Ramadan this year.
Daylight hours on June 21 will be 16 hours 38 minutes in London, 13 hours 28 minutes in Dubai and 12 hours 16 minutes in Kuala Lumpur.
As schools will be in session, roads may be busier in cities such as Dubai than in recent years. International SOS advises people to be particularly cautious in the hour before sunset.
Dr. Badaoui said: “Road safety is a major and often unappreciated danger for travellers and those staying in their home countries. During Ramadan, traffic accidents tend to peak as sunset nears and people rush to Iftar. We would advise people to avoid any unnecessary travel on the roads at this time if they can.”
International SOS’ advice for a healthy Ramadan is:
1. Eat moderately at Iftar, and make sure to eat Suhour.
2. Get eight hours of sleep during every 24 hour period.
3. Wait two to three hours after Iftar before exercising, and focus on lighter activities like brisk walking.
4. Consult your doctor on how to manage medications and chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
5. Try to conduct more difficult work tasks earlier in the day.
6. Be extra cautious on the road, particularly in the hours before sunset.
In addition, International SOS highlights the following Ramadan etiquette points for travellers to Muslim countries:
1. Restrict the consumption of food, beverages and cigarettes during daylight hours to private spaces or clearly designated areas.
2. Dress modestly, and be mindful of workplace etiquette. Book meetings early in the day and be respectful of fasting colleagues.
3. Expect restaurants and entertainment venues to change their timings and offerings.